While I’m rarely at a loss for words, every once in a great while, I find myself quietly (it happens!) observing life from the sidelines, visually stimulated by dogs wearing costumes or …
While I’m rarely at a loss for words, every once in a great while, I find myself quietly (it happens!) observing life from the sidelines, visually stimulated by dogs wearing costumes or acrobatic drag queens soaring high overhead. I begin clicking away, cautiously optimistic that the photos will convey the scene playing out in front of me.
This past weekend was no exception and momentarily reminded me of the old days—you know, before the world shut down. Since that myopic view of life in the country might be (don’t shoot the messenger) temporary, I grabbed the opportunity to pretend that all was well and slung a camera over my shoulder, flung my dog in her stroller (don’t judge) and hit the road.
“What a day!” enthused Erin Dudley, executive director of the Hurleyville Performing Arts Centre (HPAC) following the town-wide pride celebration last weekend. “I have been living in Sullivan County year-round for seven years, but Saturday at Hurleyville Pride, I fell in love with it. I am not from Sullivan County,” she continued, “I have no family here. I have traveled and lived in a lot of places, and this county, hands down, is the most diverse place I have ever lived—socio-economically, racially, politically and across generations, gender and sexual preference. Saturday was an excellent snapshot of that diversity.”
After I told her that I had taken one or two snapshots myself, Dudley shared a quote from a long time Hurleyville local: “It was so wonderful to see the town just exploding with joy, interest, appreciation and thought,” the unnamed resident told Erin. “I didn’t see or hear even one complaint, argument, [or] yawn of disinterest… it was terrific. This kind of community arousal, inclusion and support just of the great benefits of having HPAC here.”
On the other side of the county, it was clear that Riverfest, and all that goes with the annual event, is just one of the great benefits of having the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA) having made its home in Narrowsburg, NY.
Still exhausted from the day before, I arrived early in order to see the aforementioned “River Dogs on Parade” and spend a few hours photographing them, the crowd and a few of my pals from the award-winning River Reporter, before heading for home to spend time with my own pooch, who was feeling a bit under the weather at home (she ate a dead frog). Of course, her fans were crestfallen, but there were scores of adorable dogs wagging their way down Main Street to more than makes up for Dharma’s absence last Sunday. No worries; she’s fine. I could go on but will take my own advice and let the pictures tell the story.
For more images of both events, check out the photo galleries at www.riverreporter.com.
Fun Fact: “Every Picture Tells a Story” is the third studio album by Rod Stewart. It was released on May 28, 1971. It incorporates hard rock, folk and blues styles and went to number one on both the U.K. and U.S. charts.
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